Collin Hulbert’s Week 11 picks are in. Check out his selections and commentary as you put together your DraftKings and FanDuel lineups this week.
Week 10 is in the books with another solid performance during the week.
The Thursday night game was everything I hoped for and somewhat expected. The Steelers routed the Panthers in epic fashion to kick off the week. From there, a number of lopsided early games led into a very entertaining Rams-Seahawks contest. Ultimately, a Monday night matchup between two abysmal teams turned into a classic Eli Manning comeback victory. As for us, we managed to turn in a pretty good DFS performance, with an average of 134 points scored between three lineups.
I picked Ben Roethlisberger as a DFS quarterback last week because I felt his matchup was very strong. It paid off as Big Ben put up 36 points (FanDuel scoring), his best game all season. We also picked a great week to throw Aaron Jones into some of our lineups, especially at a price of $6,500 on FanDuel. Jones was featured in the Flex section of last week’s picks and turned out a 31-point performance against the Dolphins. It was the breakout the fantasy community has been waiting all season.
Notably, our quarterback selections had solid performances across the board. Though there were a couple disappointing performances and a pair of flops, but we managed to hit at another high percentage during Week 10. Roethlisberger (36) Mayfield (23), Ryan (20), and Fitzpatrick (16) rounded out the results from our quarterbacks. Aaron Jones (31), Gordon (25), Kamara (24), and Duke Johnson (13) were amazing for running back output. Julio Jones (20) was really our only great receiver for the week as the rest disappointed. Kittle (13) and Vannett (8) had respectable outputs, given their price. The Bears and Chargers both broke a dozen points again and try to forget about the Jets pick (Yikes). Now that Nathan Peterman is gone, I’m done picking against the Bills.
A look ahead to Week 11
It’s another exciting Thursday game on the slate as the Packers travel to Seattle. I’m not feeling too strong about any of the Seahawks in this one, although Russell Wilson is heating up and currently producing touchdowns at an unsustainable rate per passing attempts. He’s a riskier play than you might expect, given his performance in previous seasons. I like Aaron Jones going forward, but I’m avoiding others in this matchup. Call it what you may, but the hesitation about the Bengals struggling and the Saints running backs thriving last week turned out to be very real. I am concerned this game will play out more on the ground then the public will like. Save your chips for Monday night’s shootout in LA.
This week, there are plenty of good picks I’m leaving out. Unlike many weeks prior, there are some ideal matchups for good players this week, especially at running back including Saquan Barkley, Kareem Hunt, and Christian McCaffrey highlight that list. If you go with one of them or Todd Gurley (as always), you probably can’t go wrong. I like Pat Mahomes in the Monday matchup as well, but his price tag is too steep for my liking, so I’m going for the affordable and the best value picks again this week.
There will be a lot of parity atop the running back ranks this week, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding between spending on a back or receiver this week.
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Jared Goff (DK-$6,400/FD-$8,300)
Jared Goff had a fine week against a fantastic passing defense last week. This week’s opponent is nowhere near as dangerous. The Chiefs are 28th versus opposing passing attacks this season. Although the rhythm of the offense might take a hit with the loss of Cooker Kupp, Josh Reynolds has shown to be competent in his stead this season.
There’s always a chance Todd Gurley rushes for a few scores, but the calculated play-calling and play action proficiency of the Rams should equate to a high output performance from Goff. Stacking Robert Woods or Brandin Cooks should be a safe play if you’re worried about some of the other games not playing to the script. This game will undoubtedly be an offensive showcase.
Carson Wentz (DK-$6,300/FD-$7,700)
Carson Wentz isn’t Andy Dalton, even though they resemble each other. Don’t be confused. Unlike the stinker Dalton put up last week, Wentz has more weapons at his disposal than Dalton, so he’s much less likely to achieve the “stinker” tag. Alshon Jeffrey shouldn’t find too much difficulty on the outside and Zach Ertz will find the free space he always seems to find.
The Saints stout rushing defense will make things difficult for the Eagles and their confusing rushing attack, and it’s very likely the Eagles will be in a negative game script for much of the contest. Even after last week’s letdown from Dalton, the Saints are 31st against the pass. The Vegas player prop line for Wentz is over 315 yards passing, so that’s a promising sign. Wentz is a solid play this week and not too pricey.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (DK-$5,600/FD-$7,600)
I can’t get away from Fitzpatrick when he’s priced so low. In case you weren’t aware, Fitzpatrick threw for over 400 yards last week, turned it over three times, had zero touchdowns, but still managed over 15 points. If you didn’t notice that, you probably also aren’t aware of the fact the Bucs would risk having to pay Jameis Winston over 20 million dollars next season if they play him this season and he gets hurt.
The Big Lead, among others, published an article this week about why playing Winston is a massive financial risk. That said, you should feel secure about playing Fitzpatrick for the time being. We all know this offense sets up quarterbacks for success, so the schemes are very safe for providing the quarterback with a high floor each week.
This week is a fine matchup in New York against the Giants. With Dirk Koetter’s coaching career on the line, you can be sure the Bucs will bring the intensity this week. The Vegas player prop line for Fitzpatrick is 338 yards this week. This game looks like another high scoring thriller.
Eli Manning (DK-$5,200/FD-$6,700)
I love this matchup. As I just mentioned, Fitzpatrick is facing a Giants team who can’t do a lot against opposing quarterbacks. The same can be said for the 29th ranked passing defense of Tampa. The most telling indicator in this game is the Vegas line for Manning. He’s currently projected to go over 300 yards passing and a favorite to throw at least three touchdowns.
Eli isn’t the same quarterback we have seen in the past, but he’s got a plethora of weapons on offense, a potent offense on the other side of the matchup, and the Bucs terrible secondary. Considering all these factors, Manning is due for a massive game. This could be the one for Eli in 2018 to silence the critics, at least for a few weeks. For the discounted price of $6,700 on FanDuel, Eli is a good play if you want to pursue some of the high-priced options at running back.
Melvin Gordon (DK-$8,900/FD-$8,900)
Melvin Gordon has been quietly having a spectacular 2018 season. Aside from missing a game with a hamstring injury, Gordon has been consistently dominant. I like Melvin Gordon a little bit more than Christian McCaffrey this week, who is at a similar price. I know McCaffrey has been hot, but Gordon’s a little more trustworthy, as McCaffrey has six games this season without a touchdown. Gordon has scored a touchdown in seven of his eight games and had 23 points in the game in which he didn’t find the end zone.
McCaffrey is very hot, with seven touchdowns in the last three games, so I don’t blame you if you prefer McCaffrey in a good matchup this week. Gordon is my top guy this week, and I can’t recommend two guys this expensive, so I’m going with the more consistent option. Both have great matchups, but the Broncos have been especially bad against running backs this season, becoming the first team in NFL history to allow two 200-yard rushers in consecutive weeks (Crowell, Gurley). A well-balanced Chargers attack will provide Gordon with more looks in space this week. Expect heavy usage and more success at home versus Denver’s inept rushing defense.
David Johnson (DK-$7,500/FD-$7,900)
David Johnson is facing the Raiders this week. I can just stop there, but I’ll give you the numbers, so you’ll feel better about what already appears to be a no-brainer. The Raiders are 29th against opposing running back fantasy points surrendered. Though Johnson got off to a slow start, the resurgence of the offense — and Johnson — can be credited to the firing of the former offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy.
Byron Leftwich has been doing a tremendous job getting Johnson the ball in space, rather than banging him between the tackles all game. As a result, Johnson has had more receptions and yards in the past two games than the previous four combined. This week, the Raiders will be traveling to Arizona with the aspirations of attaining the top pick in next year’s draft. Johnson will be fed the ball this game. Expect big things as Johnson seeks to right the wrongs of the first half of the season.
Aaron Jones (DK-$5,700/FD-$6,700)
Aaron Jones blew up last week for 31 points. He had two touchdowns and 172 yards against the Dolphins last week. Thursday’s game in Seattle will be a stiffer test than Miami, but it was clear Green Bay is shifting the dynamic in the backfield and Jones will be the focal point moving forward. Jones picked up 27 yards on three receptions as well, so it’s nice to see his usage in the passing game. The Seahawks rank 16th against opposing running backs but are much better against opposing quarterbacks.
Seattle loves to run the ball on offense so even if they fall behind, it shouldn’t be so much as to render Jones useless in a comeback scenario. I don’t see Seattle running away with it, so we should see a good bit from Jones this week. He’s a great value buy at $6,700 on FanDuel.
Deandre Hopkins (DK-$7,900/FD-$8,600)
For the top-dollar pick, it’s difficult to choose between Michael Thomas and Deandre Hopkins. I’m leaning slightly towards Hopkins because he’s been more consistent this year. Hopkins’ lowest point total thus far has been 12 points, so there’s a floor there that Michael Thomas doesn’t have, due to the ground weapons in New Orleans. Hopkins faces a friendly matchup versus a Redskins team ranked 25th against the pass. I see this matchup as a problem for the Redskins, though I believe it will be won on the arm of Deshaun Watson. The Redskins are 11th against the run this year and the Vegas prop line for Hopkins is 100 yards. He’s also a 2 to 1 favorite to score a touchdown. Enjoy the fireworks.
Tyreke Hill (DK-$8,300/FD-$7,900)
I’m mildly confused as to why this price isn’t higher in FanDuel. Tyreke Hill is back, healthy and facing the Rams in LA on Monday night. The Rams are 24th against the pass and will have their work cut out for them against the AFC’s top offense. Hill showed us again last week why he’s always one play away from changing the landscape of a game. His massive performance against Patrick Peterson goes to show there’s no good defense against pure speed. With a record 63-point over/under, the showdown in LA is tabbed to be the offensive showcase of the century. It would be wise to snatch up one of the key players in this looming touchdown party.
Kenny Golladay (DK-$5,800/FD-$6,400)
Aside from last week, Kenny Golladay has been quiet in recent weeks. During Week 10, the young receiver had a good resurgence as he tallied six receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown. With the departure of Golden Tate, it’s clear Golladay was a benefactor. Marvin Jones is a little banged up this week, but the Lions face the Panthers, who aren’t very good against the pass and were just destroyed by the Steelers a week ago. Golladay has all the makings of a solid start this week.
Travis Kelce (DK-$6,500/FD-$7,800)
I’ve spent a good portion thus far talking about the showdown in LA. One thing to keep in mind this week is how vulnerable the Rams have been on defense this season when facing prolific offenses. The Vikings, Saints, Packers, Chargers, and Seahawks all had good to great outings.
This Chiefs offense features the most weapons they’ve seen to date. There simply isn’t a way they’re going to be able to contain the Chiefs. I expect Kelce to get a heavy target share in this game, as the Rams have been vulnerable to opposing tight ends in 2018. George Kittle and Jared Cook both destroyed the Rams earlier this season. Kelce comps closely to both those players and the Chiefs target Kelce at a very high rate. This game has a high floor and ceiling for Kelce.
Zach Ertz (DK-$6,600/FD-$7,600)
Zach Ertz went Bananas last week. Unfortunately, most of it was on the final two drives, when the game was firmly in hand. The good news is, the Eagles will likely be playing from behind in this game as well. This means Ertz should continue to see a heavy target share again this week. With five touchdowns in the last five games, Ertz is as hot as anyone in football right now. If you want another high ceiling option for tight end or flex this week, Zach Ertz is a good a candidate as anyone for a big game.
Evan Engram (DK-$4,100/FD-$5,800)
Engram hasn’t done much since his return from injury. He got some action late in the matchup Monday night, but the upcoming game against the Bucs looks very promising for a breakout performance. With a slew of pass-catchers to choose from, Eli Manning will have options on Sunday. However, Monday’s game showed us Engram was very active in a negative game script. With the expectation of a high scoring matchup, it’s nice to know the Giants likely won’t veer away from their schemes in this one. For the price, this is the best tight end you’ll get with this week’s slate of games.
Texans D (DK-$3,600/FD-$4,700)
The defensive options this week are extremely limited. I’m focused on the Texans because I believe their pass rush will have success against this battered O-line in Washington. The Reskins are down two offensive linemen following injuries two weeks ago. I expect the Skins to struggle in the somewhat likely scenario of a negative game script because they lack the ability to play well from behind. The Skins defense has been good as of late, but the Texans have been potent on offense and feature a wide receiver who will be a nightmare for the Skins all day. If the game script flips, count on the Texans getting a lot of pressure on Alex Smith.
Titans D (DK-$3,500/FD-$3,400)
The Titans don’t force a lot of turnovers and they have only one defensive touchdown in 2018. However, they are a top 5 defense in yards and points surrendered. They should be able to keep the score relatively low this week, but there’s always a chance Andrew Luck turns the ball over, as he’s been known to do.
Alshon Jeffrey (DK-$6,300/FD-$7,300)
We went over the Eagles and their ideal passing matchup earlier. Unlike last week, Alshon Jeffrey will not be drawing one of the league’s best corners. We’ve seen Alshon be neutralized by good corners this season (Jax, Min, Dal) and take advantage of the unremarkable corners (Ten, NYG, Car). He’s been shockingly predictable. This week, Jeffrey draws the Saints this week, the 31st ranked passing defense. What’s not to like?
Sterling Shephard (DK-$5,300/FD-$6,300)
Shephard had a touchdown last week but had only eight yards to go with it. He was a low volume target in a close game, and that should be a cause for concern. Luckily, the Bucs are here to make everything better. With a number of other weapons for the Bucs to be concerned about, Shephard should be able to find space in this game and exploit the poor Bucs secondary.
Vance McDonald (DK-$4,000/FD-$5,800)
Vance is a bit of a dart throw this week, but there isn’t much around this price range worth a start this week. With the Jaguars, I’m basing my estimate for Vance’s performance off the playoff game last season. In that game, McDonald went over 100 yards on 10 receptions. Jalen Ramsey will have his hands full with Antonio Brown, so I think Vance is a sneaky play to serve as a decent option for Big Ben this week. His Vegas prop line is around 50 yards, but no one else in this range has a higher projection. If you’re low on cash, Vance is a good gamble.
Collin is a former Army Intelligence and Logistics officer who got a little too into Football analysis. Since leaving the Army, he’s practically the Jack Ryan of football analysts. But he spends most of his days with his wife and two daughters, so he is clearly a better father than Jack Ryan.
Follow Collin on Twitter @CollinHulbert